Tarim mummies

Gutenabend Maria
I too am confounded and bewildered by irony; ask AV.
The confusion gets worse as you get older.
Do you know that lorelei siren Alexandria. She has a friend of mine so confused hes walking round thinking he is Maurice Chevalier, muttering to himself" Thank Heaven for little girls, la la la."

Gute Nacht Maria, und Susse Traume,
Take care

Can I ask a serious question please, because all this talk about irony is making me quite randy.

MY question is : Should it?, ( or should I seek psychoanalysis. Use as much irony as you like if you can be arsed to reply. Thanks)
Take care

After a terribly busy weekend I am late to this thread. Yes, I am glad to be alive, glad to be ironic. And as for Celts and mummies, …(I have deleted what I wrote).


I thought perhaps this might interest you, Maria: Barber argues that Japanese kumihimo plaiting originated in the west - ultimately, in prehistoric Greece.

I appreciate your comment, and I am always open to hear new informations. Relating Japanese textile technology to the West is absolutely no surprise, since many adavanced technology was introduced by groups from the continent (Korean and in the case of textile with Chinese roots), and their relation to India and Hellenistic culture is well known. We also have graves that resemble European migration period graves to a high degree. No surprise. There is so much already known and written in languages – I repeat myself – other than English- Sometimes reading English literature on the topic I find this common sense presented quite sensationally. Not my taste. – Besides, there is a lot of excellent research going on, no doubt.

Nothing against anybody reading Barber’s book (which I do not know, but when I hear about Celts, I feel like ignoring it) and nothing against just being nice, somehow, I had to say that.

All the best,

Fair enough. I remember there was a bit of a kerfuffle back when the Nobel Prize for discovering buckyballs went to US and UK scientists. Seems the structure had already been predicted a quarter of a century earlier by a Japanese scientist, but Western scientists weren’t in the habit of reading Japanese.


I am glad you take it this way, thank you. There are so many examples of this kind, just think of the translation of Habermas’ most influential work into English – to mention only one well known scholar.

And there is of course the problem that archaeology is a fascinating field that many people like to read about and think about. It seems to a large group of people that everybody might be able to do archaeology and argue with archaeologists. This is fine, but I often met laypersons who just knew better and would never accept to see the logical flaws in their “fascinating” idea. Or: The less people know the more they think they understand. So sometimes, I am a bit upset. Which is difficult on the net, because I do not know you and I do not see your face when you write. I think most positive of you and thank you for your understanding.


Thanks for your honesty. It must get tough when outsiders think they know your field better than you.

It must be especially difficult because archaeology is so entangled with modern political arguments. The Middle East is the obvious example, but I’m sure it happens throughout the field: people jump on every snippet of evidence “proving” their side of the argument, while ignoring all possible contradictions.


Katherine, Vic, AJ and all,

thanks for your nice words – in whatever language.

OK, we archaeologists mostly make fun when we are among ourselves, the best part in these jokes is the one who plays the well knowing amateur. It is part of student’s education… But while it is a way to deal with a problem that will always exist, that problem will never be solved this way. So I personally think it might be better to make a more serious statement if there is a chance for a positive echoe, that people may listen.

As for politics, that is true. We had this problem with the Kossina school a hundred years ago until WWII, although it was not as influential as the English written literature assumes. It can be a problem in certain circles here in East Asia as well. Which is a pity because I only met very open minded archaeologists, the problem again being the amateurs and – worse – those who have power in the mass media and in politics. But I cannot see that people are open for such arguments at the moment.

Long post, sorry

I have just re-read all the posts in this topic and I am totally confused, bewildered and befuddled. Are you:
a) a German girl living in Japan?

b) a Japanese girl born in Germany, now living in Japan?

What ever the answer; what I said pm still applies. Don`t ever change!

Take care

Help is coming:

I am a German “baba”, which means literally “aunt”. Well, I remember the English calling all those wonderful elder ladies “girls”, and I am trying to become as nice as they were when I visited England as a school girl in the 70ies and 80ies. And I live in Japan.


For those who are interested in the Tarim mummies, I’ve come across an article about a later mummy discovered recently in Iran, preserved in salt - the same agent which preserved the bodies in the Cherchen cemetery.

Greeting AJ,
I can`t contribute in any erudite fashion to this thread, certainly not as an expert or authority on archaeology, but I do find the archaeologists quite phenomenal ability to discern so much, from what, in a lot of cases, seems to be so little, quite astounding.

I live almost next door to Lindow Moss in Cheshire UK. It`s an area of peat bog. In 1983 the remains of what is believed to be an Iron Age man were unearthed by the peat cutters.

The body was christened Lindow Pete and was, for a spell exhibited in the Manchester University Museum and I took my kids along to meet him.

It was posited at the time, that Pete was in fact a man of some rank, Celtic, and had been ceremoniously sacrificed to appease some ancient deity or other.

If I`m not mistaken there is now some evidence to suggest he may have been a victim of the Romans.

Its the acidic content of the peat bog that acts as the preservative in this case, like the salt, and it was from Petes preserved garments, that most if not all of the info about pete and his grisly end was gleaned.

Archaeology must be an intensely fulfilling and intellectually rewarding field of endeavor.

Nice talking to you AJ

Take care,

Hi Vic,

Glad to read your contribution. I think interest is as important as expertise in these chats.

I envy your proximity to such interesting sites. Most places I’ve lived in New South Wales have had ancient Aboriginal sites within a few minutes’ walk, and I do appreciate them, but I do envy the sorts of sites I hear about from the UK. The grass is always greener on the other side of the world, I guess.

I’m sometimes astounded too at the inferences which some archaeologists have made about the past. In particular, some of the conclusions about the social structures that led to Stonehenge, e.g. an intellectual priestly caste leading the awe-struck ignorant peasants, sound to me more like academic wish-fulfilment than rigorous logic. I understand there has been and still is something of a debate in archaeological circles about the role of imagination in (re)constructing the past.

I think the fact that different archaeologists draw different conclusions from the same evidence illustrates well that, however educated and well-grounded and respected the opinion, it’s an opinion.

Still, I agree with you that it does look like an immensely satisfying occupation - from my position on the outside, anyway. Time Team makes it look particularly interesting. :wink:

Good talking to you too, Vic!

Its morning here, so that means its Evening; sunset time, in the Blue Mountains, sounds romantic…very! As you can see I have a God given gift for wandering off topic. and " Ama bovvered?", not greatly. If you read my very first post Greetings in Now for that Latte you`ll have a good idea of what your up against. What I set out to say, was:

Good evening AJ,
Your post contains some points I agree with, some I disagree with (I think), and quite a bit of food for thought, concerning the impact on the imagination of evidence

I sense an embryonic posit-able thread lurking somewhere on the periphery of this murky, potholed, rubble strewn, booby-trapped wasteland: my mind.

I suspect wed be moving into the realms of: Metaphysics` (in all senses of the word); human fallibility (intellectual, emotional and psychological etc.) perhaps even politics could raise its ugly head, who knows?

Im quite serious when I say, that since I enrolled on my Writing Course` a few months ago, my modest and naive attempts at research, have actually affected me in quite a profound way at times. Touching in various ways to a greater or lesser extent, on all the points raised in the previous paragraph.

I have to go now, but we can kick this around a bit more, if you like, at a later date (not too much later though)

Take care